I’ve been writing a lot lately about BDR (backup and disaster recovery), and I’ve even been trying to keep my eye on where storage is trending. Based on some of my recent interviews with solid state vendors Nimbus Data Systems and WhipTail, it looks like the future of storage is heading toward solid state. (Coming soon, I’ll be interviewing Violin Memory, another solid state storage vendor to get their perspective on solid state storage’s play in the enterprise).
Up to this point, I’ve made the assumption that tape-based storage is dead. But a recent article I saw in my inbox, which started with the words “tape is not dead,” caught my attention. I was intrigued enough to download it to learn more about the author’s rationale. The quote comes from: “Common backup tape storage errors: TLC for your tape storage,” written by Alan Earls. Earls starts off the article quoting Steve Suesens, category manager at Staples Technology, who backs up his intriguing quote with, “As long as data continues to double every 12 to 24 months, tape will be around for a long time.” I was actually quite surprised by this reasoning because I’ve heard some MSPs and disk backup vendors saying the same thing to explain why tape is on its way to extinction. Suesens gives a second reason for tape’s viability: “Backup tape storage may have some reliability advantages over disk backup.”
Now, I’m really confused. I thought all the analysts are claiming that half of restores from tape don’t work, and when it does work, it takes a long time to restore. I’d like to hear from our storage VARs/integrators/MSPs. Has tape been receiving an undeserved bad rap? Does tape still have some advantages over disk and/or other media? If so, what are some examples you’ve seen in your business?